I find myself in the disappointing position of having to agree with Westboro Baptist Church. Four years ago, the protested the funeral of young man who died in Iraq. The father of that young man has sued Westboro claiming that they do not have the right to protest the funeral because their message hurtful to him and his family. The case is going to the Supreme Court.
Sadly, the father is wrong. And, being the father of a young man who fought and died for his country, I would hope that he would understand his son died protecting our Constitution and our freedom of speech.
I feel for him and his family. They have every right to feel angered and offended by the disgusting display of hatred that Westboro puts on whenever they do one of these protests. But to try and silence that speech is disrespecting the memory of his son and the reason he served our country.
We need to hear that kind of speech every once in a while to know that our society has a long way to go in stamping out ignorance and hate. Ruling it away in court doesn't change the minds of anyone, it only makes that fear and hatred fester, to eventually blow up in some manner that I would rather not think about.
The best way to deal with those Westboro folks is not with dialogue, logic, or reason. The best way to deal with these creatures is to get a large group of people together and stand up tall and proud in front of them and become a human shield between them and and their target. Then, collectively point your fingers at them and laugh your asses off. Humiliate them. Make them so mad and angry and spit flies from their mouth when they shout more hatred at you. Then, point again and laugh some more.
They are not deserving of the attention they have received in this case. It was ill conceived and, hopefully, has no chance of winning. Because, if this type of speech is silenced, then we have started down a slippery slope that will lead to far greater threats to our liberty and freedom than a couple of backwards, dimwitted asshats from Kansas.